Armenia’s opposition forces, which had come together to form the Resistance Movement earlier this year, announced on Monday that they will hold a “unity rally” on Saturday, November 5 at Yerevan’s France Square.
One of the leaders of the movement, Ishkhan Saghatelyan, said at a press briefing that the rally will focus on Artsakh’s sovereign and Armenia’s territorial integrity and security. Saghatelyan is a lawmaker representing the Armenia faction in parliament and is also the chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia.
He said that the rally will not focus on an individual or a political party, but rather an event whose participants can come together to proclaim that their “homeland is not a bargaining chip,” adding that Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian people are facing a crucial period in history.
The Resistance Movement held daily protests in Yerevan’s France Square for two months beginning in May and called for the ouster of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his government, blaming them for the losses incurred by Armenians beginning with the 2020 war.
Saghatelyan said that Saturday’s gathering is meant to demonstrate that Pashinyan’s administration “does not express the will of the Armenian people” and has no mandate to sign far-reaching agreements on Nagorno-Karabakh. He again accused the government of planning to help Baku regain full control of Karabakh.
“The overwhelming majority of our people are against Artsakh being a part of Azerbaijan,” Saghatelyan said at the press briefing.
The opposition leader said that the rally was inspired by the overwhelming outpouring of protest on Sunday in Artsakh, where more than 40,000 Artsakh residents participated in a rally that rejected any document that would place Artsakh under Azerbaijani rule.
Saghatelyan also publicly appealed to Catholicos Karekin II.
“I would like to appeal to the Catholicos, expecting his blessing and support for this highly important initiative because this is not a political party rally, this is a rally of the Armenian people with an Armenian agenda. I am also calling on our intellectuals, the academic community, so that they call on the people to participate in the rally at this crucial moment, and show their will and support,” Saghatelyan said, urging all political forces to unite and attend the gathering.